NuScale Power is a company with a mission – to build the first small modular nuclear reactor in America. As of now, they are certainly on track.
Last week, NuScale announced their submission of the first design certification application for any SMR in the United States to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They did all the legwork and got all their ducks in a row before submitting, something that is critical for success with the NRC.
The application consisted of 12,000 pages of technical information. After a quick review period of two months to see if any additional information is required prior to starting their full review, the NRC will take 40 months to review and issue a design certification. That certification will be valid for 15 years to support a combined license application for NuScale to construct and operate this new type of power plant.
Expect the first SMR to be built in America and become operational in the early 2020s.
NuScale had their work cut out for them. NRC has never licensed an SMR. Conventional wisdom says the licensing period should be longer than usual. So NuScale spent a lot of time doing everything necessary to give NRC everything they needed to make it easy to license this reactor. NuScale spent $30 million dollars in testing, built large-scale test facilities and a unique control room simulator.
This reactor is something that we’ve never seen before – a small modular reactor that is economic, factory built and shippable, flexible enough to desalinate seawater, refine oil, load-follow wind, produce hydrogen, modular to make the power plant any size, and that provides something we’ve all been waiting for – a reactor that cannot meltdown.
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